IT'S BEEN almost a year since lack and Kathy Hamlett, owners of Mad Science of Scottsdale and northeast Phoenix, won Entrepreneur and Xerox's "Help! My Office is Obsolete!" Makeover Contest. If you recall, the children's science education franchisees received a completely redesigned office courtesy of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy designer Thom Filicia. On top of that, they got the latest and greatest in printers, monitors and other technology from Xerox and a set of new office furniture from The Hon Company. We caught up with the ever-busy Hamletts to see how their business life has changed since the big event.
Just like the kids they work with, Mad Science has spent a lot of time growing. They were in growth mode when Filicia and Xerox arrived, and show no signs of slowing down today. They expanded their territory by taking over the East Valley Mad Science franchisee's business earlier this year. That means adding as many as 40 new schools to their roster this fall. When we last talked to Mad Science, they had 16 employees working out of the three-room office. They've since added another office worker and nearly a dozen instructors--known as "mad scientists"--with even more set to come on board as the school year continues.
Though their size has increased, they're still running the expanded company from the same compact office space, and they don't plan to move into larger digs. The redesigned office, which manages to be both exotic and functional, has been up to the challenge. "The growth mode we're in is just the beginning of it. The future holds a lot for us, and this office will really help us make the transition," says Jack.
Beauty is more than wallpaper-deep. Since the makeover, there has been a shift in the way the Mad Science team feels about themselves and their business. "We have a lot more pride," says Jack. The office workers are thrilled with the comfortable spaces and new technology, and the mad scientists love coming in for team meetings and being able to quickly access course materials.